Cabinet discussed ways to manage haze situation, says Dr M

Dr Mahathir Mohamad. (Bernama pic)

PUTRAJAYA: Dr Mahathir Mohamad says the Cabinet yesterday discussed ways to manage the ongoing haze situation which has seen several parts of the country blanketed in smog.

“We discussed ways to reduce the haze,” the prime minister told reporters at an event here last night.

When asked about the statement by Indonesian Environment Forestry Minister Siti Nurbaya Bakar, who said the haze in Malaysia was caused by its own forest fires, he said: “That’s her comment, so we can’t say anything.”

The country has been hit by haze since Sept 5, with schools in Sarawak ordered to close until the situation improves.

According to a Department of Environment statement yesterday, the haze and rise in air pollutant index readings in the west coast of the peninsula and western Sarawak are caused by fires in Sumatra and Kalimantan, Indonesia.

Mahathir also conveyed his condolences to the family of Indonesia’s third president Allahyarham Bacharuddin Jusuf Habibie or BJ Habibie, who died yesterday.

“He was my good friend. I am sad but he had been ill for some time,” Mahathir said.

BJ Habibie died at the Gatot Sobroto Armed Forces Hospital in Jakarta due to various health problems.

BJ Habibie, 83, was the third Indonesian president, succeeding President Soeharto. He held the post from May 21, 1998 to Oct 20, 1999.